Coconut Cacao
Protein Balls with Maca



It’s a huge bonus when something that’s healthy also happens to taste good, and is easy to prepare. #WinWin You’ve probably heard about Maca Powder, but what is it, and why should you be adding it to smoothies and juices and protein balls, whenever you can?


Maca powder is derived from the root of the Lepidium meyenii, a Peruvian plant that grows at high altitude in the Andes. The superfood quality of Maca powder is due to the fact that it is an adaptogen; a substance known to enhance energy, as well as, assist in mood balance. This is a superfood that works to increase our overall well being.


The recipe calls for a Cacao/Maca blend, and when you open the container, all you smell is chocolate. Yum.  This is a great, protein snack with a subtle chocolate taste. We have so much temptation around us all the time, so it’s nice to have a chocolatey snack that won’t throw us off a healthy eating path. It’s clean, it’s loaded with protein and it hits the spot.  Give it a try, and add a little Cacao/Maca blend into your life.


I have found that by using a Cuisinart blender, this recipe comes together quick and easy.


Here’s what you’ll need:


1 1/2 cup rolled oats (uncooked)

12-15 pitted and coarsely chopped medjool dates

1/2 cup plant-based, unsweetened protein powder

5 heaping tablespoons of Cacao Maca powder

3/4 cup almond butter

5 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered honey

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Unsweetened, Plain Almond Milk

Unsweetened coconut flakes

Method:

Place oats in the Cuisinart and pulse until the oats are ground, and resemble flour.

Add dates and pulse until dates are minced and well blended with oats.

Add Cacao/Maca Powder and Protein Powder and pulse once or twice.

If you can't find this blend of Cacao Maca Powder - make your own ... 2 parts Cacao powder to 1 part Maca powder.


Add almond butter, honey and vanilla extract and pulse until combined.

Just as a quick note here ... I don't measure out the almond butter or honey in exact proportions ... instead, I add what looks like a 1/2 cup plus, plus, plus of the almond butter. I then pour the honey in and eyeball that as well... I'm not exceedingly heavy handed here... just a little bit ... 

At this point, the mixture will be somewhat blended, but also, on the dry side… add a splash or two or three of almond milk and pulse until the mixture is well combined and moist enough to roll into balls. Just turn on the cuisinart between each addition of almond milk. Essentially, you want the mixture to stick together a wee bit better.  As you work with it later, by rolling it into balls, the mixture will come together nicely.

Pour a fair amount of the coconut into a separate bowl.

Remove the blade from inside the Cuisinart.

Begin by picking up a small amount of the mixture from inside the Cuisinart bowl, and rolling it in the palm of your hand into small golfball-sized balls.

Roll the balls in the unsweetened coconut.

The recipe yields between 18 to 20 protein balls.

Store in a covered container in the fridge.

By the next day, the balls will firm up.  When the balls are first made, they seem pretty soft but by tomorrow, the consistency will definitely improve.

Enjoy!


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